Amsterdam NewsCriminal justice advocate Darren Mack, co-director of [UJC's] Freedom Agenda, said that Rikers should have closed a long time ago because no one is safe there. “We need immediate decarceration, like the effort we saw at the beginning of COVID-19, with action from judges, prosecutors, and the DOC commissioner with the support of the mayor,” said Mack. “Without that, they are choosing to let people die.”
The CitySarita Daftary, co-director of [UJC's] Freedom Agenda, an organization that’s part of the coalition that pushed Renewable Rikers, agreed. “OBCC should be transferred,” she said. “It makes sense to consolidate operations."
NY1"The mayor's visit was just to show support to correction officers," said Melissa Vergara, [a member of UJC's Freedom Agenda] who has a son on Rikers. "We never address the violence that comes from the other end,” she added.
Queens Daily Eagle“Rikers should have closed long ago, and by now, judges, prosecutors, and all elected officials know that no one is safe there.” -Darren Mack, the co-director of nonprofit Freedom Agenda [at the Urban Justice Center]"
NY Post"[UJC's] Freedom Agenda, an advocacy group working to close Rikers, lambasted the DOC for the seventh death in less than six months. 'As the Department of Correction generates plans to create plans, New Yorkers continue to suffer and die in their custody,' Freedom Agenda’s co-founder Darren Mack said in a statement."
Gotham Gazette"Now my son is considering taking a plea. It’s really tempting – he wants to be home, and he especially wants to get out of Rikers. But it’s not fair. My son, like so many others, was harassed by the police for being homeless, held for ransom by a judge, and denied due process by guards who don’t care about doing their jobs. Where’s the justice in that?" - Freedom Agenda Member, P. Mass
Deaths at New York's Rikers: A Mother's Pain"It's a horror story in there and it's heartbreaking," the 58-year-old [UJC Freedom Agenda member Brian Carmichael] told AFP, citing gang violence, crumbling buildings and dirty toilets that flood.
NY Daily News“Greg Williams, 57, who was detained at Rikers in 2020 on a parole violation, said the absentee system was confusing. ‘It just didn’t work the way they had it set up,’ said Williams, an activist with the advocacy group Freedom Agenda...“‘People didn’t know how to get absentee ballots in a timely fashion, who they were supposed to turn to, and there was no one to really advise them."
Amid chaos on Rikers, borough jail plan on schedule with planning, construction in Queens, Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn
NY Daily News"'Anybody who says that’s not enough [beds] has an investment in incarceration,” [Darren Mack, of UJC's Freedom Agenda] said. “To backpedal against what is now the law, it would be subject to lawsuits.'”